Cameron Warner, Associate Professor of Anthropology, School of Culture and Society, Aarhus University
|December 7, 4:30 pm
McFadden Room, Barker Center 24
Abstract: “Am I becoming a Buddhist?” “Are you a Buddhist?” These are questions many scholars of Buddhist studies have faced personally and professionally. They strike at the heart of ontological issues inherent to self-definition and self-cultivation for potential Buddhists. In this talk, I will explore these questions as they relate to contemporary Nepalis from two relatively new religious organizations, the Byoma Kusuma Sangha and the Namgyal Foundation. Based on nearly twelve months of fieldwork in Kathmandu between 2012-2014, I will explore what the daily practices, social organizations, and existential dilemmas of former Hindu converts, ethnic activists, and reform-minded lamas can tell us about why and how one becomes a Buddhist.